Supermarket giant Asda has issued a warning over the dangerous misuse of cooking oils, after a study revealed more than a fifth of sun lovers put it on their bodies for a better tan.
A recent survey revealed 22 per cent of people in the UK are risking burns and skin cancer by smearing cooking oils such as vegetable, olive and coconut oil on their skin before sunbathing to speed up their tan.
Men are worse than women at raiding the kitchen cupboards, a third (34 per cent) of sun worshippers have purposely not applied sunscreen in the bid to tan quicker, even though over three quarters (79 per cent) have suffered sunburn and 13 per cent have been burned so badly they had to go to a doctor.
With more than 25 million in the UK embarking on a staycation this summer, attitudes to the sun differ depending on whether people are abroad or in the UK.
More than three quarters of Brits (78 per cent) will apply sunscreen when abroad, but for those opting for a staycation more than half (55 per cent) will not apply sunscreen.
Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) don’t think the sun in the UK is strong enough to need sunscreen, with over one in ten (13 per cent) thinking it is unnecessary.
Love Island’s Dr Alex George – an NHS doctor who famously suffered bad sunburn in last year’s series warned: “People always need to be responsible when out in the sun and it’s worrying that so many people are taking extreme measures just to try and speed-up their tan. It’s good to see these warning signs being placed on cooking oil bottles in a bid to stop people from lathering it on their skin when sunbathing.
“Instead, what Brits should be going for is a good sun cream with a 5* UVA rating.”
Meanwhile, over three fifths (62 per cent) of the 2,000 people polled will put on sunglasses as a form of sun protection, whilst nearly half of sun worshippers (45 per cent) are put off buying sunscreen as they think it is expensive.
A spokesperson from Asda said: “We wanted to put these labels on our cooking oils, after our research found that so many Brits are using them to speed up their tan. Of course people should have fun this summer and embrace the sunshine, but we want them to be safe whilst doing so.
“Cooking oils offer no protection against UV light, leaving individuals vulnerable to sun damage or much worse.”